SINGAPORE, July 12 — Taking the stand for the first time at her husband’s rape trial yesterday, the wife of general practitioner Wee Teong Boo said he could not have raped his patient as he was unable to achieve and sustain an erection.
On the 13th day of the trial, Quek Bee Nar told the court that her 67-year-old husband has had erectile problems since 2014.
His penis was “soft like a noodle” even when stimulated, she said in Mandarin through a translator.
Wee’s alleged victim, now 26, was at his clinic in Bedok on December 30, 2015, to seek treatment for gastric problems, frequent urination and an itch on her genitals.
Wee was checking her lower abdomen before he allegedly raped her.
Yesterday, Quek, a real estate agent, stressed that Wee required help in achieving and maintaining an erection, and that it would only last for “one or two seconds”.
Even with help, he was occasionally unable to get an erection. They had sex about once or twice a month, though there were times when he “did not have the urge to have sex”.
The couple have been married for 40 years and have five adult children aged between 20 and 39. Quek has been a director of the clinic since 1984, but she is not directly involved in its operations.
Earlier in May, deputy public prosecutor Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz had accused Wee of lying about his erectile dysfunction.
Wee told the police in January 2016 that he did not have the medical condition, but testified in court on May 10 this year that he had erectile dysfunction, and would “take some time to achieve an erection”.
Wee consulted an urologist on Jan 5, 2016, almost a week after he was arrested for rape. He explained then that he did not seek help earlier as he was not bothered by it.
During cross-examination yesterday, Amanda Chong grilled Quek on the inconsistencies in her oral testimony and two written statements. The first statement was made to the police when Wee was first arrested, and the second in the middle of the trial in May.
In those statements, Quek only mentioned that sex with Wee was “fast” as he was old. Chong accused her of providing new information about their sex life in court yesterday only as an afterthought to support her husband’s defence.
“You would have had two-and-a-half years to collect your thoughts on everything that was relevant (between his arrest and giving your statement in May),” said Chong.
Quek disagreed, saying it was her first time recording such a statement, and she realised after that she had left out some things.
When asked by Chong why she did not tell her lawyer everything as her husband was facing a serious charge of rape, Quek insisted that she did not “recollect all these things at first”.
While the prosecution attempted to have Quek’s credibility as a witness impeached for the material consistencies between her oral testimony and written statements, it was rejected by Justice Chua Lee Ming, who said the inconsistencies were not sufficient for impeachment.
When cross-examination resumed, Chong pressed Quek on why she thought a possible rape charge for her husband was not a serious matter.
The also asked why she did not disclose Wee’s erectile dysfunction to the police, which would have lessened the suspicion on him.
“I did not know that he would be charged, and I did not believe he would do that,” said Quek.
When asked how she did not know that the police’s questions on the couple’s sex life were related to the possible rape charge, Quek said that she thought they wanted to find out if their marriage was “cordial”.
Chong then accused Quek of lying about Wee’s ability to achieve an erection and that he had to use his hands to guide sexual penetration, that she had made up her account as her husband was accused of raping the patient while his hands were on the patient’s legs.
Disagreeing, Quek said: “I regret that I was too naive I thought my husband would not be charged because of his character.”
When pressed again on why she thought the charge against her husband was not a serious matter, she added: “He loves and enjoys this job, he treats his patients very well.”
At the end of her testimony, Quek explained that she was “too anxious” when replying to questions about why she was not worried when her husband was detained, and why she thought it was not a serious matter.
When questioned by Chua if her “embarrassment is more important than your husband being charged with rape”, she said she did not think he would be charged with rape as his “penis is so soft”.
Wee’s case will be heard again during the next tranche of the trial on October 18. — TODAY